Endangered African American Historic Sites

 

 

 

Tenth Street Historic District 

Dallas, Texas

 

Tenth Street Historic District Dallas, Texas

Dallas' 12th historic district was adopted in 1993. One of the only remaining intact Freedman's Towns in the nation. It is a cohesive collection of modest folk and vernacular dwellings dating from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. In this neighborhood there are 257 domestic structures, four commercial structures, three institutional structures and one cemetery.

 

Freed slaves began living in Tenth Street after the Civil War ended. Many were thought to be former slaves of William Brown Miller, a prominent Dallas cotton farmer. In 1880 the Elizabeth Chapel was established, and in 1886 a school opened at what is now the corner of 12th and Lancaster Streets. Extensive settlement began when T.L. Marsalis platted the neighborhood in 1890.

 

Links:   

National Trust for Historic Preservation  August 16, 2019 - Dallas' Tenth Street Historic District Celebrates Temporary Halt on Demolitions

Dallas Eyes Ways to spare the Historic Tenth Street district, which is now on a national most-endangered list 2019

Contacts:

Preservation Dallas

Preservation Dallas
2922 Swiss Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75204-5928
Phone: 214.821.3290
Fax: 214.821.3573

 

Texas Historical Commission

1511 Colorado St.
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: 512.463.6100
Email: thc@thc.texas.gov

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burrus Hall at Fisk University

Nashville, Tennessee

 

Located within the Fisk University National Register Historic District, Burrus Hall was built in 1945 and named in honor of James and John Burrus, two of the first four college graduates in 1875. The architects were from the notable African American firm of McKissack & McKissack. The 9,860-square-foot building is a two-story brick, L-shaped plan with a flat roof, projecting entry, and stone framed arched doors. Throughout its history, it was used as the music building, a men's dormitory, and twelve faculty apartments.

In October 1978, Burrus Hall sustained damage from two arson related fires, at least one of which occurred in a second-floor practice room. The building was most recently renovated in 1992. As of 2009, windows in the easternmost section of the north wing have been boarded up and the entrance doors show signs of damage. Extensive vegetation is growing around the property, and portions of the cornice on the west and south elevations are missing.

Burrus Hall sits directly across the street from the Boyd House, another historic building on campus that is exhibiting disrepair and which the Metro Historical Commission has been advised will soon be demolished. There is a concern that Burrus Hall may meet the same fate, especially since it does not appear to have been actively used over the past decade.

 

Links: 

Historic Nashville announces 'Nashville 9' for 2019 November 7, 2019

Rock Block Leads Nashville Nine's List of Endangered Places

 

Contacts:

 

Tennesee Historical Commission

Nashville, Tennessee 37214

Phone: (615) 532-1550

 

Historic Nashville, Inc. P.O. Box 190516 Nashville, Tennessee 37219 Phone: (615) 669-4503

 


 

Isaiah T. Montgomery House

Mound Bayou, Mississippi

 

Built in 1910 by the founder and first mayor of Mound Bayou, the Isaiah T. Montgomery House has tremendous significance to the history of Mississippi.  A two-story brick structure with a full basement, the house has a spacious front porch with impressive square Doric columns.  Born a slave on the plantation of Joseph Davis, brother of Jefferson Davis, Isaiah T. Montgomery led fellow freed slaves to establish the all black community of Mound Bayou in 1887.  Given its proximity to  the railroad and the fertile Delta land ideal for growing cotton, Mound Bayou flourished under Montgomery's leadership.  By the early twentieth century, Mound Bayou was one of the most prosperous communities in the state, with its own bank, school, industrial buildings and numerous shops.  The town of Mound Bayou was granted its charter in 1912.  Isaiah T. Montgomery, accountant, real estate developer, civil engineer and politician, died in 1924, leaving a legacy that should be remembered and celebrated.

 

The Isaiah T. Montgomery House is currently threatened by ongoing deterioration and lack of maintenance.  The house is owned by the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, a civic organization that has expressed the desire to work with the city of Mound Bayou to restore the building for use as a bed and breakfast for medical staff and families of patients at the Taborian Urgent Care Center, scheduled to open in February 2014.

 

As of 2017, Mound Bayou residents are working with Mississippi Heritage Trust to fund the restoration of this piece of Delta History.

 

Links: 

I.T. Montgomery House added to National Trust Endangered List 2018

The Atlantic  September 2019 issue  The Great Land Robbery The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms Mississippi Delta including Mound Bayou

I.T. Montgomery House, Mound Bayou: Not Just A House Video

 

Contacts:

 

Mississippi Heritage Trust

The Lowry House
1031 North Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Phone: (601) 354-0200

Email: preservation@mississippiheritage.com

 

Mississippi State Historic Preservation Office

MDAH Historic Preservation Division
P.O. Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205-0571
Phone: (601) 576-6850

Fax: (601) 576-6955

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mountain View Officers Club Fort Huachuca, Arizona

The Mountain View Officer's Club was constructed in 1942 by Del Webb and remains one of the most significant examples of a World War II-era military service club in the United States for African-American officers.

From 1892 to 1946, Fort Huachuca claimed the highest number of African-American soldiers at a military installation in the United States. To mobilize for World War II, the military began a large-scale building effort at Fort Huachuca, specifically to house the "all-black" infantry divisions, and built barracks, hospitals, maintenance structures, offices, warehouses and recreational facilities, all of which were segregated and, in many cases, built in duplicate.

Over 1,400 temporary buildings were constructed in a 75,000-acre area known as the New Cantonment Area. Few of these buildings remain today, and the Mountain View Officers Club is the only remaining recreational facility left at Fort Huachuca from this period.

Vacant since 1998, the U.S. Army Garrison is proposing to demolish the Mountain View Officers Club, claiming that it no longer has a need or funding to support the maintenance of this building. The Mountain View Officers Club was listed as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2013.

National Trust for Historic Preservation: Campaign Goals

 

  • Encourage the Army to collaborate with the National Trust and other consulting parties to support reuse and preservation of this rare historic building.
  • Raise national awareness of the history of the segregated military and the role of the Mountain View Officers Club and the Buffalo Soldiers in American history.

 

Links:

Mountain View Officers Club - A close look at the work to Save Mountain View Officers Club at Fort Huachuca

National Park Service announces $500,000 in support of Mountain View Officers Club restoration

US Army to restore one of the last surviving WWII Officers Clubs for African American troops

 

Contacts:

 

Arizona Preservation Foundation

P.O. Box 13492

Phoenix, Arizona 85002

Phone: (602) 687-7092

Email: info@azpreservation.org

 

Tuscon Historic Preservation Foundation

P.O. Box 40008
Tucson, Arizona 85717

Email: info@preservetucson.org

 

Arizona State Historic Preservation Office
1100 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Phone: (602) 542-4009

 


Restore Oregon has released its annual Oregon's Most Endangered Places list of historic properties that are threatened by neglect, disuse or redevelopment.

New to the list this year is an Elks lodge that served residents of the historically African-American neighborhood of Albina and others. It was home to Elks members when the organization did not allow black members at lodges, it hosted USO events for black service members and it was a YMCA.

Another property that symbolizes the city's African-American heritage is the Mayo House. The owners of the 1895 home plan to turn it into an arts and community center on the lot where a relative's boarding house stood until it was torn down under racist "anti-blight" programs in the 1980s, according to Restore Oregon. Their plan is to turn it into a community center and hub of African-American arts, history and culture.
The Malvern Rosenwald School building in Malvern, Arkansas was built in 1929. A total of $32,150 was allocated to Arkansas for the 1928-1929 budget year, which allowed the completion of 29 schools, three teachers' homes, seven vocational shops, and three school additions comprising five classrooms. Of the 29 schools completed during that period, the Malvern Rosenwald School was one of two eight-room schools built. (The other eight-room school, Scipio Jones High School in North Little Rock, has since been demolished.)

This old school is currently in the process of renovation, and this project is overseen by Henry Mitchell. Mitchell wants to see this property brought back to life, and you can help donate or give him a call at 501-818-9126 to see how you can help!
At first glance, the landscape seems to have changed little since Harriet Tubman's day. The pine forests, marshes and farm fields she once traversed as a conductor on the Underground Railroad have remained largely untouched over the past 160 years. Even the country store that was the setting of her earliest known defiance against slavery still stands along a sleepy ribbon of road.

But this sacred land is changing, its permanence imperiled by the unholy forces of climate change. By the end of this century, much of land so recently designated as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park and the area around it could be underwater, researchers say.
Willert Park Courts in Buffalo, New York is a unique example of early Modernism with bas-reliefs depicting scenes of everyday life, was New York State's first housing project constructed specifically for African Americans. Today, the site is vacant and many of its structures are open to the elements. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority has proposed demolishing the complex to construct replacement housing.
Listed in the Green Book, The Excelsior Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, was a leading private African American social club in the Southeast, hosting artists like Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong during its heyday. The Art Moderne building needs significant investment. The property is currently listed for sale for $1.5 million, but even if a buyer is found, a reuse plan and significant investments are necessary to ensure a strong future.